- Lane Edmonson For the AJC
At a time when hot new restaurants come and go, it’s easy to overlook the old standbys and neighborhood hideaways that have served delicious meals for decades.
Buckhead’s White House Restaurant has been such an institution for almost 70 years. In the same block as Peachtree Road United Methodist church, it sits modestly alongside other longtime retail tenants in a tiny strip mall. Owned and run by several generations of the Galaktiadis family, it offers standard diner breakfast and lunch as well as Greek specialties.
On one visit, a longtime staffer recommended the Olympic Omelette. A classic diner omelet, it arrived tire-sized — perhaps this is why they call it “Olympic” — lightly browned and bulging with filling. A quick poke of the fork uncovered an abundance of sautéed spinach, tomatoes, peppers, onions and mushrooms with chunks of feta cheese.
The White House cooks know their way around veggies, preparing ingredients evenly to keep their flavors and retain a bit of body. When you bite into the omelet, you taste the slightly sweet, salty egg, and then find a bit of crunch and resistance from the peppers and mushrooms. The onion offers another note of sweetness atop the earthy spinach and salty heft of the cheese. Entrees like this one can easily veer into mushy-greasy territory, and the White House deserves credit for avoiding the grease trap by having a light hand with the oil.
A ramekin of tzatziki sauce, a traditional Greek condiment often found on gyros, makes a rich accompaniment to the omelet. Rather than pouring it over the omelet, dip a fork in the sauce and then spear a bite. You get a garlic jolt along with a tangy, ingratiating note of yogurt.
A breakfast like this can leave you enveloped in your own personal garlic cloud. But you’ll also feel virtuous from the vegetables and ready to seek out more of Atlanta’s ancient treasures.
Avoid the tiny lot in front of the White House and park behind the restaurant by turning onto Mathieson Drive at the corner of the strip mall.